Property insurance companies do not pay for the damage of a home or property if they determine that damage existed prior to the claim, also known as a pre-existing condition. In order to determine if damage existed, they use specialists and evaluators to investigate. For this reason, it’s important to be prepared before an event happens and your home is damaged, and to know what to expect from insurance companies so that your claim is not denied on the grounds of a pre-existing condition.
Also, it’s worth noting that a pre-existing condition does not only refer to damage that existed before the event or before you bought your insurance policy. It can also include the wear on your property over a length of time or be used against you if you neglected to maintain your property.
Here are some steps you can take to avoid having your insurance claim denied because of pre-existing conditions:
- Inspect your property. While it’s always important to inspect your property yourself throughout the year to stay safe, you should also schedule an inspection with a licensed specialist every few years. Evidence that there was no damage to your property before the storm or event will help your claim. You should also have a licensed roofer look at your roof every couple of years.
- Take “before” pictures. Having clear pictures of your property before the event that caused damage can support your claim. You will want to date the photos and store them in a safe place. If you only have pictures of your property after the damage, it will be more difficult to prove to your insurance company that all of the damage is new.
- Review your insurance coverage. A surprising number of people have homeowner’s insurance but do not know what their insurance covers. Review your insurance policy at least once a year. This will give you an opportunity to add coverage if needed. If you’re in an area prone to hurricanes and you do not have flood insurance, consider adding it before hurricane season begins.
- Consult an attorney. Because insurance companies are notorious for rejecting claims, having a skilled property insurance claims attorneys on your side can help you avoid being ripped off.
If your claim is denied on the grounds of pre-existing conditions, you have the option of appealing the claim. Also, sometimes claims are partially denied, in which case your insurance company may pay for some damage, but not the part they conclude existed previously.
Property insurance claim in Florida
Aside from family and loved ones, protecting our property and home is one of our most important responsibilities. At Johnson & Williams P.A., we work with our clients to protect their property and hold insurance companies accountable when they try to underpay claims. If you are considering filing a property insurance claim, contact us online for a free consultation or give us a call today at (407) 245-1268.